The Future of Mazda: Straight-Six Engines and EVs?
Never content to rest on its laurels, Mazda is looking for ways to keep improving. Here’s a look at what a recent corporate document revealed about the future of Mazda.
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Naturally, Mazda plans to keep refining its Kodo design philosophy. However, we’re also going to see some changes to Mazda vehicles on the inside.
- Small architecture: It looks like Mazda is considering Mild Hybrid technology and independently-developed battery EVs, called xEVs. We should also see upgrades to both the SKYACTIV-G and SKYACTIV-D engines.
- Large architecture: There are straight-six SKYACTIV-X and SKYACTIV-D engines on the horizon. This decision is likely inspired by the fact that other high-end automakers have embraced the once-shunned straight six. The document also shows plans for Mazda to adopt longitudinal engine layouts, which support rear- and all-wheel drive. Who knows — maybe we’ll see another RX-7 in the future.
Long term plans
- Connectivity: In the presentation, Mazda teased plans to roll out an upgraded version of its Mazda Connect infotainment system. The new and improved software, dubbed Mazda Connect 2, would boast an on-board communication device for connected services. While nothing has been confirmed, it’s safe to speculate that these services would include roadside assistance, automatic crash notification, and stolen vehicle recovery.
- Autonomous technologies: Mazda is looking to evolve and advance its Mazda Co-Pilot technology. The automaker calls this innovation a “human-centered self-driving technology,” and explains that it’s meant to physically and mentally revitalize the driver. Although we’re not entirely sure what that means, one confirmed feature is driver awareness detection. If you lose consciousness behind the wheel, your Co-Pilot-equipped Mazda will take control, contact emergency services, and drive you to a safe location.
- Electrification: Keeping pace with recent trends, Mazda intends to release an electric vehicle, a multi xEV, and a plug-in hybrid.
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